First of all, a big, hearty thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday! I had a very good day. :D I faced one of my fears, which was a big deal for me. In our church, if someone has a birthday on a Sunday, the worship team usually makes said person come up front so they can sing to them. I was really nervous, and prayed about it a lot, because most of you know that I am shy and introverted. :-/
I asked a lot of my friends to pray as well, and one night while I was lying in bed, God brought Psalm 23 in my mind. He also gave me a picture; it was of Jesus as a shepherd, leading me through a path. There were lots of rocks but He was holding my hand, helping me not to fall. I like to think that when I went up front, He was holding me, helping me not to trip and fall on the way. There was another guy named Delon who shared my birthday, so we both went up front, and Jimmy, the worship leader, said that one side of the church would sing for Delon, and the other side would sing for me, and whichever side was the loudest, won. Everyone started singing, and when they got to the part, “Happy Birthday, Dear…” Jimmy grabbed the mic and said, “Ashley!” That was nice. :) I walked back to my seat afterwards and one lady, MaryAnn, smiled and gave me a thumbs up! That meant a lot because I’d told her how nervous I was. I am glad I faced my fear. And when I started walking towards the stage, I felt a peace and calm come over me. I believe that was a birthday gift from God. :D
Also, there was a guy named Murray in our church who had been in the hospital for the past several weeks. Long story short, his wife went to run some errands one night while he was home alone. He hadn’t been feeling well, so he took the day off work. Anyway, his wife came home that night and found him passed out/unconscious. Anyway, yesterday was the first Sunday he’d been at church since that whole incident! I was so happy that it was on my birthday, no less! (I used to baby-sit his kids when they were younger). He also came to our church’s Christmas program that night, and got to see his oldest daughter play a song on the piano. Awww. <3
After church, Eric and I got pizza for lunch, and I accidentally hit and killed a squirrel on the way home. Oops. :( It ran right out in front of me, and I braked, but apparently it wasn’t enough, because Eric and I heard a loud thunk. We looked in the mirror and saw the squirrel lying motionless on the road, and we laughed. :D I told my Dad about it after lunch, and he laughed too.
I made the mistake of telling that to Linda, one of my bookmobile co-workers. (She absolutely loves animals), and she made a sad face and said, “poor little squirrel.” Um, what was I supposed to do? There were cars driving on the other side of the road, so it’s not like I could pass to avoid the squirrel. And I did brake. She jokingly called me a “squirrel killer”, and I’m probably being too sensitive, but it did hurt a little. However, she gave me a birthday gift today. It’s a black and yellow necklace with a clear ball at the end (it sort of looks like a fake jewel/diamond), and the necklace is twisty; you can twist and bend it to how you want it to look. I thanked her, and went to give her a hug, and said, “Are you sure you want to hug a squirrel killer?” and she said, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”
Don’t get me wrong. I believe that God is angry when we purposely mistreat animals. God gave man dominion over the animals, and when we purposely mistreat them just for the fun it, we’re abusing that privilege. However, some people take it too far and cry out at animal abuse, but are silent on abortion. (Linda’s not like that, though. Linda is very much against abortion). And I would never harm an animal just for pleasure. But honestly, I’m just not a big animal lover. For as long as I can remember. Even as a little girl, I’d be scared of dogs, and had a hard time coming up with a favorite animal. I eventually settled on kittens, because they’re so cute!
Thanks again for all the birthday wishes, everyone! :) Can’t wait to see what this next year holds for me!